It's late at night after a long day, they're both settled and nestled in bed. Wang Yibo is dozing off, his head tucked in the crook of his elbow, valiantly losing a battle to stay awake. His failed attempts are many and Xiao Zhan is helplessly charmed.
"Teach me something."
Yibo grunts. "Now?"
Xiao Zhan feels it more than hears it, how Yibo wills himself to wake like a mountain trying to uproot itself. "Like what?"
"I don't know, something simple. Korean, perhaps."
A still moment passes and Xiao Zhan thinks he's being ignored, or the boy did finally surrender to sleep.
That is until Yibo's hand twitches, lifts, and jabs into the first thing it connects with.
"Elbow," Xiao Zhan confirms after parroting the word, correcting several misplaced intonations and pausing where consonants trip over each other. It's not hard, just... Unusual.
Then, "Sonmog," Yibo says and Xiao Zhan follows; observes as Yibo's long fingers wrap around his wrist where a gold bracelet sits prettily.
His touch is sleep warm, Xiao Zhan muses, as is with the rest of Wang Yibo, probably, rumpled and sluggish, maybe a little dazed. He wonders how to translate that soft image in his own anguage.
Yibo, meanwhile, perhaps sensing his distraction, pulls and transposes Xiao Zhan's hand from its perch on the pillow to his cheek.
Something trembles in his ribcage, and Xiao Zhan holds his breath.
"Anje... Anjeon," he tries. But whether it's Yibo's warmth or the lesson isn't registering anymore, Xiao Zhan giggles softly at his flub. Something so achingly tender and profound is happening and he can't put a finger on it. It doesn't even matter what the word means anymore.
Wang Yibo's thumb caresses the back of his hand.
"Focus, Zhan-ge," he commands, one eye cracking open and Xiao Zhan feels those lashes whisper against his skin.
A nod, a soft hum. Too content and happy.
The hand on his cheek slides down, and Xiao Zhan feels his face burn when Yibo's soft lips carve a kiss on his palm.
He doesn't even have to repeat it, the word sinking into his memory with the gentleness of a feather and the weight of a vow - one reminded by the band that wraps around the vein closest to his heart, and mirrored by another around Yibo's own.
"What does it mean?" Xiao Zhan asks, soft and breathless.
"What matters is what it means to you, Gege."
And there's that shift again, a tender rearranging of his insides to make way for more of this boy to nestle within the tight confines of his chest. They're never-ending, these movements, tectonic and quiet under his breath even after all this time; Xiao Zhan will always be caught in its fault lines.
And when that quake manifests into the physical, Xiao Zhan surges forward, propelled by longing and a burn that need no words. His kiss is slow but easily accepted, Yibo's lips parting to fit around it like they always do.
"What's the word for that, Wang-laoshi?" It's innocent, a tease, but Xiao Zhan hears the heat in his own voice and doesn't doubt Yibo hears it, too.
Wang Yibo licks his lips; the small of Xiao Zhan's back tingles when an arm wraps around his waist tight and unyieldingly. The sleep is gone from Yibo's eyes, then, and what remains is what would occupy them for the next several hours hence.